One of the Oldest Businesses in Town

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In February DCS was invited to hold its monthly event in the Board Room of the Wm Lee Foundry on Callywhite Lane.  MD Toni Caranannte, who has worked there for more than thirty years, gave a fascinating insight into how the firm has survived the turbulent economic climate of the last three decades.

Wm Lee came to Dronfield in 1901 specialising in the production of malleable iron castings.  During 1986, the firm moved to spheroidal graphite iron for truck and automotive castings.  Through significant investment in new plant and automation together with a highly skilled workforce, many of whom live in Dronfield or nearby, the firm has retained its position in the national and global markets.

Following the presentation, there was a lively Q&A session which included the potential implications of Brexit for the foundry and the switch to electric vehicles in the future.

The old 4 tonne ladles which were used for the production of malleable iron, mark Dronfield’s historic link with Wm Lee at the northern and southern gateways to the town.  Planting of the ladles takes place twice a year by volunteers of Dronfield in Bloom.  The Civic Society has recently made a donation towards the plants for the spring season.

With thanks to Toni and Angela for welcoming DCS and guests and for their generous hospitality.

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